New York Tampa Bay slugger Manny Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance for the second time and informed Major League Baseball on Friday that he is retiring rather than face a 100-game suspension.
A person familiar with the events that led to the announcement confirmed to the Associated Press that Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the nature of Ramirez’s issue with MLB’s drug policy was not publicly disclosed.
The commissioner’s office announced Ramirez’s decision in a statement, but provided few details. Ramirez previously served a 50-game suspension for violating the drug policy while he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers and second-time offenders get double that penalty.
“Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the statement said.
“Rather than continue with the process under the Program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”
MLB said it would have no further comment.
The 38-year-old outfielder-designated hitter left the team earlier this week to attend to what the Rays called a family matter.